n. Trezzolano VR 28.4.1940
m. Ilheus SP 9.9.2008 (a. 68)
Fr. Giuseppe Bonomi suddenly passed away during the night between the 8th and the 9th September 2008 due to a heart attack, at Ilheus (Brazil), where he lived for the last two years after a long missionary journey which led him all over the world.
This incredible news reached the Stigmatines and the relatives who reside in Montorio (Verona) and deeply shocked them.
Fr. Giuseppe was known in the city of Verona not only by the volunteers of the ABCS (Italian Missionary NGO) who helped him in different occasions (in Chile, Paraguay and Brazil), but also by the members of the many missionary groups whom he met. He had been particularly close to the group of Mambrotta (Verona) where he was used to spend his holiday time and where he used to work in the fields and by collecting apples he was able to pay his return ticket to Latin America. He said: “the money I receive from benefactors is for the poor; I have to earn my own ticket for the ship I take to go and come back!”
Fr. Giuseppe Bonomi was born at Mizzole, on the outskirt of the city of Verona on the 20th April 1940 and grew up in the village of Montorio. Very young, he entered the Congregation and pronounced his final vows on the 28th April 1961. After having completed his theological studies he was ordained a priest on the 10th July 1966.
He manifested immediately his vocation as a missionary. That is why he was sent to S. Croce, Rome, between 1966 and 1967 to study at the Pontifical University of Propaganda Fide and to prepare for work in the missions.
As a young priest, full of enthusiasm, he was sent to the Ivory Coast. Once back to Italy because of his father’s death he worked for a short while in the parish of Catania (Sicily) and then he began his long pilgrimage as a witness of the Gospel of Jesus.
At the beginning he was a chaplain for the Italian workers abroad, first in Formosa (China – Taiwan) and then in Namibia (Africa).
After these first missionary experiences he decided for the radical choice of the evangelization in Latin America.
He started a very long journey, similar to that of St. Paul, which led him in different Countries to announce the Gospel and to do charity work, always attentive to the needs of the poor and the troubled.
We remember only a few of the stopping places of this ‘missionary pilgrim’ for the Gospel.
1978/1986, Brazil: he exerecised his ministry at Luziania (Goias) and at Ituaçu (Bahia).
1987/1995, he was in Chile: first in the capital city, Santiago, and the in the area of Quilpuè at El Belloto.
1996/2001, he worked in Paraguay, in the capital city, Asunción, starting there the Stigmatine presence in that Country.
Once he came back to Brazil, he started from Curitiba (Parana) and then he worked in the city of Palmas, capital of the Tocantins State.
His life style was that of a pioneer: he wanted to arrive where there was nothing established and when the work of evangelization and the charity structure were set in place, he departed to other places as a restless wayfarer to further announce God’s love to other people.
After a short break which he spent in Italy in 2006 due to some health problems, he strongly willed to return to Brazil and work in the city of Ilhéus (Bahia) where death got him on the field of his apostolic work.
The Stigmatines express in prayer their thanksgiving to God for the great example and the gift of this true ‘Missionary’ Confrere and Priest.
Fr. Meschi Andrea